Colorado Springs Information & Demographics
City Info and Demographics of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is the largest city, by area, in the State of Colorado (194.7 square miles) and the second largest by population, standing at 426,388 since 2011. Demographics show the city to be about 79 percent white, six percent African American, three percent Asian, and one percent Native American. Hispanics from a variety a races account for about 16 percent, most being Mexican American.
Colorado Springs is located in central Colorado, about 65 miles south of Denver. Elevations run between 5,740 and 7,200 feet. The city is situated just east of the Rocky Mountains, at the foot of famous Pikes Peak. Protected from harsh alpine weather, "The Springs" has a unique climate with very little precipitation (16 inches/year) and skies that stay sunny 300 days a year.
The City's Founding and Subsequent Growth
Ex-Civil War General William J. Palmer, who at the time was a surveyor for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, founded Colorado Springs on July 31, 1871. His intention was to create a resort community that would bring in travelers from home and abroad. With Palmer's financial connections in England, he was able attract many visitors who came for the health benefits of the warm, arid mountain air, mineral waters and spectacular beauty. The city became one of the most popular destinations in the country during the late 1800s.
With major gold discoveries at Pikes Peak and Cripple Creek, the city grew in size and affluence, and many mansions and other significant structures were erected in the downtown area. Many of these remain today as historic monuments to a by-gone era.
When the Gold Was Gone
Eventually the mines played out, but "medical tourism" remained strong. Tuberculosis sufferers came because of the dry climate and the mineral springs, abundant in fluoride. Health sanitariums sprang up everywhere, many of which are still in evidence today, although transformed into other purposes. When medical cures for TB were found, that ended too.
Today, tourism is Colorado Springs' third most profitable industry, behind the military and high-tech manufacturing. Military presence is dominant, including Fort Carson (Army), Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases, and the US Air Force Academy.
There is an abundance of activities and attractions for tourists, including many on the National Historic Register. The weather is great, the scenery awesome, and the city has 140+ years experience catering to visitors.